While people are screaming that immigrants should go home because they are defusing the identity of our country I recall Lamar Alexander's plurbus unim statement- (see post "Ken Burns Little Snicker "September 24, 2007). Alexander says that racial and ethnic minorities are tearing the country apart because they don't want to be part of a unified nation. In this case Harold Meyerson says its economics. People are feeling the squeeze. Credit card debt is too high, everyone has a 400+ car payment, and mortgages now eat up most of peoples monthly earnings. Of course people are angry... and as usual with human beings we look for the scapegoat, this time the undocumented immigrant or diverse ethnic and racial groups in general. Meyerson says the discontent is really caused by a nation-state that is out of touch with its populace, and lets our quest for capitalism take the economy where it wants.
Its easier to blame the people that don't look like you than your national leaders who you are supposed to respect and admire.
During late summer, Juli wrote a post saying that she always like to see what a writer says at the end of their essay, that its usually very telling.
I think she is right on.
Rise of the Have-Nots
Why More Americans Are Feeling Shut Out of Good Times
By Harold Meyerson
Thursday, September 27, 2007; Page A25
...Apparently, so great is Republicans' loyalty to the Bush presidency that they're willing to overlook their own experience. And, in many cases, to attribute the nation's transformation solely to immigration, rather than to the rise of a stateless laissez-faire capitalism over which the American people wield less and less power. Which helps explain why Republican presidential candidates bluster about a fence on the border and have nothing to say about providing health coverage or restoring some power to American workers.
But the big story here isn't Republican denial. It's the shattering of Americans' sense of a common identity in a time when the economy no longer promotes the general welfare. The world the New Deal built has been destroyed, and we are, as we were before the New Deal, two nations.
For link to entire essay, click title to this post.